How to Build Shelving

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How to Build Shelving

Keeping a home organised requires adequate storage space that makes it easy for people to find what they need when they need it. Shelving units are a great solution for every room in a home because they make use of vertical space that otherwise goes unused. Although brick and mortar stores sell a plethora of shelving units in an array of sizes and colours, they do not always meet the homeowner's needs. Fortunately, building a shelving unit is a weekend project for those who want to create a custom piece.



To build shelving, people need a few basic supplies and tools, including building material such as timber or manmade fibreboard, wood glue, wood screws, shelving brackets, and a power drill. Some DIY stores and timber yards offer cutting services, so those who take advantage of these services do not need access to saws.

Types of shelving materials

DIY stores and timber yards sell a variety of materials for building shelves, but the most commonly used materials are timber, medium-density fibreboard (MDF), and chipboard. Shelves made from timber such as pine and oak are attractive, sturdy, and durable. Manmade MDF is also strong enough to produce sturdy shelving units, and it is easy to customise with paint. Chipboard remains popular with budget conscious builders that want to save money. For best results, builders should use boards that are at least 18 mm thick to prevent sagging.


Determine the measurements

Crafters need accurate measurements of the space where they want to place the shelving unit. They must note the height of the room from the ceiling to the floor as well as the width of the wall space and the depth from the wall to the spot where they want the unit to end. These measurements determine the size of the pieces they need to build the unit.


Cut the wood

After they know the measurements, builders cut the wood pieces they need for the shelving unit. For example, to build a unit that is 180 cm tall, 90 cm wide, and 30 cm deep with five shelves, they cut two 90 cm by 30 cm pieces for the top and bottom, one 180 cm by 90 cm piece for the back, two 180 cm by 30 cm for the sides, and four pieces for the shelves. To determine the shelf sizes, builders must account for the thickness of the building material. For example, if the building material is 50 mm thick, builders need to subtract this amount from each side that touches the cabinetry.


Assemble the shelving

Putting together the shelving unit is a simple process that involves little more than assembling the cabinet or frame and placing the shelves within it. At this point, builders need to decide whether they want to install stationary or adjustable shelves. This is a matter of personal preference, as some people like the added stability of a stationary shelf while others prefer having the ability to change the shelf height to accommodate specific items.

How to secure stationary shelves

When positioning stationary shelves, builders must pay attention to where they place the individual shelves so they line up correctly. To do this, they need to mark the insertion spot for each shelf. Then, they apply wood glue to the edge of the shelf and attach it to the sidewall, repeating this process for each shelf. After securing the shelves to each sidewall, builders insert wood screws from the outside of the cabinet into each shelf to ensure that it stays in place.

How to secure adjustable shelves

To create adjustable shelves, builders need hardware that lets them choose where to place the shelves. A simple way to do this is by adding upright tracks or brackets to the inside cabinets. When owners want to change the height of a shelf, they move the pieces that hold the shelf in place. Those who do not like the industrial look of upright tracks opt for a system common in flat box shelving units. Owners drill holes in the cabinets and insert L-shaped hardware pieces to support the shelves.


How to buy shelving on eBay

Organising your home is easy thanks to eBay, where you can find the materials you need to build your own shelving units as well as flat box sets. To find these items, enter search criteria into the search box on any eBay page. As you review the listings, read the descriptions carefully, noting details such as sizes and materials so you can find items that coordinate with your home's décor and fit your lifestyle. Your new shelving unit is more than just a piece of furniture; it is a charming way to personalise your home.

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